tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN November 26, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
that does it for this edition of "360." thanks for watching. next, the stand off in egypt after negotiations break down between president morsi and judicial officials and people are taking to the streets. lawmakers back to work in the u.s. priority number one, avoiding the fiscal cliff. the left and right are talking compromise. and the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., susan rice, headed to capitol hill to meet with her most outspoken critics, answer questions about what happened in benghazi. let's go "outfront."
good evening. "outfront" tonight, egypt on edge. is a new dictatorship on the horizon? tonight, president morsi clarified, but really largely stood by his decision to grant himself sweeping powers. including freedom from judicial review for what he's calling presidential decisions. the announcement was made today after morsi met with members of egypt's judicial body, which has been very critical of his position and u.s. officials who were praising the new leader for his role in negotiating a cease fire between israel and hamas, well now when he took all these powers away from judges, they're in a tough spot. >> have some concerns about the decisions and declarations announced on november 22nd. democracy depends on strong institutions and the important checks and balances that provide accountability.
>> so, today, there were nationwide protests continuing in egypt and a million person march of anti morsi protesters is scheduled for tomorrow in tahrir square. the very spot where the revolution that cleared the way for morsi's presidency was born. now, there was a planned counterprotest that was supposed to happen tomorrow. people thought the two happening at the same time could cause serious violence, but that was canceled and now, morsi says to say his rule and word is more important than judges is just temporary. and not even is buying that. the cover of the egypt daily news website today proclaimed egypt's new pharaoh. a chip off the old mubarak block. and morsi, lincoln in deguise or another mubarak. and the stock market didn't think this was a good move
either. it plunged 10%. stocks opened down today and barely moved up by the end of the day. so this new president in egypt in which the united states has placed so much hope, starting to look too much like the dictator he replad and is he the leader of an islamist government that will become more and more extreme, threatening america? on the phone with us tonight, the founder of egypt's freedom party and ed hussein joins me here. ed, i want to start with you. morsi was credited with brokering that cease fire between israel and hamas. it seems within hours, he swept away with all these powers, saying his word will ride over judges. was he taking advantage of his success? >> without doubt, he knew he had enough political capital to make this move and just before, he had signed a deal with the imf for a $4 billion loan program.
he thought he had enough credibility now to go after the judges that it was rumored would somehow control his own powers on december 2nd. what he undermined and failed to understand that this is a new egypt in which nobody with get away with that level of power around them without the street rising to be the check and balance we've seen happen over the last three days. >> what is your point of view on this? is this something people in egypt will accept? >> definitely not. at least a broad segment of our population is not accepting it and is not accepting it for good reasons and key reasons. one, we have lived for 60 years under presidential sweeping powers and we have suffered from them. secondly, we elect democratically our presidents
who acquire authorities which are more than enough for him to be an active president in shaping egyptian politics, domestic politics and he does not need additional authorities. thirdly, egyptians have always held the judicial branch of government in high regards and these are not like any lack of what -- of the judicial branch of government to be part of what our -- revolution is all about. >> could this be something that's good for you? as a former member of parliament, the judges needed to dissolve parliament, putting you out of your job and now that morsi's trying to seize power from the judges, is this something that could end up being good? >> no, let me continue either way. i'm here speaking as a political scientist as well. countries which make it to success and transition to democracy after the revolution have always managed to build institutions and to respect the checks and balances.
what morsi does is basically frees checks an balances and i'm not aware of any dictatorship which had been a dictatorship which managed to transition to democracy. if we freeze checks an balances, if we withstand them, i guess we will not make it and it's not going to be healthy to restore back a family that chamber of the parliament which i was a member of and was dissolved by a ruling of institution. by bringing back an assembly where we have prosecution. >> interesting he uses the word dictatorship. and he is not alone. people who are characterizing what morsi has done here as a dictatorship. "wall street journal" editorial
page said the muslim brotherhood's power claims more power. what's the risk to the united states? >> i think we should hold our horses. morsi is many thing, but he's not yet an islamist dictator. the fact the professor can speak in free times from cairo now is an indication that freedom of speech is still very much alive in egypt and also an indication that mubarak is no longer in power and you know, morsi is dependent on the u.s. for aid. dependent on the imf. international opinion will not allow for mubarak, for morsi to consolidate power around him. >> you said mubarak. >> freudian slip. >> what do you think about that? is morsi a long away way from being an islamist dictator? >> in terms of expression, i could speak to you three and
four years ago from cairo and freely as i have done just right now and i did speak several times. criticizing measures and policies took and put forward by the president and his government. so in terms of freedom of expression, it's not a huge leap, but let me remind you as well of the fact that at least one chairman was closed in the last weeks in a step which we considered egypt to be negatively imposing a democratic limit on tv channels. however, if we sustain checks and balances, in the moments in which do not have a branch of government, and morsi is the
president who has sweeping legislative and once again puts himself out in government. that is a very dangerous mix, which can only lead to the dictatorship and once again, we will not accept to have a dictatorship for a few weeks or months and that constitution situation needs to be brought down. >> thanks very much to both of you. we're going to be watching closely for those demonstrations of the million man march which protesters say they will be carrying out tomorrow in central cairo. next, congress returns to work after thanksgiving and the most important item still on their plate, it is a cold, nasty leftover. it's been a leftover for a couple of years, but now, you got to actually eat it. republican senator mike lee
point-blank asked next. and on thursday, the u.n. is going to vote on whether to recognize palestine as a state. it's a move opposed by the united states. can israel survive as a country if there aren't two states and without power for weeks because of sandy, long island residents were shocked when they got their electric bills. they add up. [ male announcer ] r lobster's crabfest ends soon.
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legislative leftovers. congress returning to work with a lot on their plate. we're not talking about turkey. we're talking about the fiscal cliff. one of the urgent matters this lame duck congress needs to address before the end of the year and even though the tax increases are going to take effect in 36 days, there's still only talk of a compromise, so can congress actually walk the walk or are we going to go off this cliff? up next, mike lee of utah. really appreciate you taking the time. you wrote an op-ed in the washington times and said quote, delaying significant fiscal restraint will send the wrong signal and may serve as taping point for our economy. so you're fear is that interest rates could surge. to be father, we've had this disastrous situation for years and interest rates have kept falling in spite of all worries that there would be a disaster.
>> that's right. that's one of the things that distinguishes the fiscal cliff, which we're coming up against right now. from what i described yesterday says the fiscal avalanche. we can see when the fiscal cliff is about to hit. the avalanche occurs when people stop buying u.s. treasury instruments and we have to start raising the interest rate. eventually, we get to the point where we can't afford anything and that's what i'm concerned about. >> so, let me talk about the solution here because we talked back in may about this. we're finally here at the deadline, right. you talked at the time about wanting a simpler tax system and were open to some people paying more and you said some in the republican tea party would be okay with that. here's you on this program back in may. >> i'd make it a point never to speak for my colleagues or counterparts in the house, but i'm not aware of anyone who would say that if one american might end up paying a little bit
more, that would necessarily count them out. >> so, i want to understand what you mean. are you open to a compromise in which if you closed loopholes, some americans would pay more. >> yes, the point is, we need comprehensive tax reform. anytime you reform the tax code, you're going to want to do it in a way that stabilizes the tax base. you're creating a more reliable, sustainable base. that might mean some americans pay more, but that doesn't necessarily amount to a tax increase, what you're trying to do here is to stabilize the revenue stream. when you say it doesn't amount to a tax increase in the aggregate, that obviously is the center of this whole issue, especially when it comes to the pledge i know you signed with grover norquist. he said i'm okay with closing loopholes, but it has to be revenue neutral. but everyone knows to get a deal done, it can't be neutral. are you open to a deal that is not revenue neutral?
>> what i'm open to is the idea of acknowledging the fact that we can bring in on average 18.5% of gdp through our revenue stream. that's what our tax system is capable of doing in the united states. that remains a constant. whether or top rate is at 35% as it is now or 75% as it was back in the early 1980s. that's a relative concept. what i want is for us to produce a steady stream of 18.5% rather than having these peeks and valleys. last year, we had a valley of about 14.5%. other years, closer to 20%. we want a steady, even, 18.5%. >> but to get from 14.5 to 18.5 is not revenue neutral. >> to get to there is not revenue neutral in the immediate sense, but what i'm saying is that if it produces on average 18% of gdp and that's going to keep us constant, that is
arguably revenue neutral. in the long run, i think everyone would benefit. it would be revenue positive. not every tax increase brings about more revenue. just to understand where you stand on this, you know, it sounds to me like you're saying go against grover norquist, but you don't want to say it. lindsey graham has said it. they've said they'll allow for more loopholes. you're saying you agree with that, at least now. but not in the long-term, correct? >> yeah, look, i'm saying there are a lot of ways to skin a cat and we need comprehensive tax reform. you have to look at something carefully to decide whether or not you think it is an aggregate tax increase, so it's difficult to define what is or what is not a tax increase. i am against tax increases, but i am in favor of stabilizing our revenue stream.
>> okay, but do you have frustration with grover norquist in such an absolutist definition? because if over time, it could mean you're never raising more revenue -- does it frustrate you? >> no. look, my pledge wasn't to any one individual. the pledge that i made was to my constituents, the voters in utah who elected me and found it significant that i was willing to say tax increases are not the answer. we don't have a revenue problem so much as a spending problem in washington. >> thank you very much. we appreciate you taking the time to joins us tonight. sounds like everyone is moving bit by bit, closer to a possible solution. next, as you just heard, a number of republicans say that
there's a line of the documents, talks about alteration and the eligibility age for medicare. now, this is budget talk. but one of the things that has been negotiated is gradually increasing the age to 67. that would save around $250 billion over ten years, so that's a significant concession. >> although gradually is a problem. this is like you know, the french. they take ten years. you've got to do it right away. >> that's there and there's the political reality. you know the old washington joke. a billion here, a billion there, then you're talking money. >> what about social security? >> talk about changing the benefit formula. change cpi. basically, what folks say is this could be a more accurate measure of inflation and if you put that in place, you could save $223 billion. if you raise the retirement age to 69 by 2075, it would affect toddlers today, no one else.
>> you know what, toddlers, i'm going to move it to 59 today. >> this has democrats willing to take on their own special interests. it's a sense of where the argument could go. and neither democrats nor republicans want to be the ones to raise it. they're going to have to do it more quickly. next, the question remains, can israel survive as a country if there is not a two-state solution? and that debate boil down to israeli -- they're "outfront" and is it a ballpoint pen or something more dangerous? a look at the weapons allegedly found on a north korean spy. it's exclusive, it's next. and she became the full time mother of three. it was soccer, and ballet, and cheerleading, and baseball. those years were crazy.
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welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start with stories we care about. last week was black friday. this week is cyber monday. look, things are off to a solid start for the holiday. online sales were up 26% from cyber monday from a year ago. they're going to go up. research firm comp score expects americans to spend $1.5 billion online today. that would be an increase of 20% from last year. president of bestbuy.com is expecting big returns today. they're selling best sellers right now, windows 8, apple products, flat panel tvs and tablets. just because you get really good sales the first few days after thanlgs giving, that might be cannibalizing sales from later on in the holiday season. today, andrew cuomo said sandy caused $42 billion in damage in new york state. mayor bloomberg estimated public
and private losses to be near $20 billion and some residents are still feeling pain. customers of the long island power authority are seeing bills that reflect their typical usage despite the fact they went week without power. have used since their previous actual meter reading and the charges will be automatically adjusted. do you check the meters every month or bill on average? i mean, just wondering how deep this question goes. we have a new satellite image of north korea's west sea satellite launch station. according to analysis, a satellite imagery confirmed there are more trucks and people and numerous portable fuel tanks. military sources tell our barbara starr they have seen more activity in the area, but no evidence of an imminent launch yet.
susan rice, she's going to go back to capitol hill to discuss the attack on the american consulate in benghazi. acting cia director will be with her for those meetings and one person they're going to meet is republican senator, john mccain. he has been one of susan rice's most outspoken critics. he has said she's not qualified enough to be secretary of state, a job she's rumored to be up for. in our latest poll, we asked those surveyed, 36% had a favorable opinion. 26%, unfavorable. the vast majority of americans despite the coverage are unsure. it's been 480 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. the white house releasing a report saying if congress doesn't prevent tax hikes, it could hurt consumer confidence and retailers and they could be forced to cut jobs. that's a case that could
undermine any increases. and now, palestine. thursday, united nations will vote on whether to upgrade status to nonmember state. it's also a move opposed by the united states and israel. now, here's the headline from an op-ed "the new york times." support palestinian state hood. that was not written by a palestinian, but by an israeli. a former deputy foreign minister of israel and architect of the oslo -- to be exact. the question remains, the israel survive as a jewish state if it does not agree to a two-state exclusion? particularly one that partitions to a holy city. jeremy joins me along with morton klein, president of the zionist organization of america. i want to read more from that op-ed "the new york times" today.
and continued to write because mr. abbas of the plo has committed to the principles of nonviolence, the bid is the only way of putting palestinians back on the agenda. the israeli foreign ministry is threatening to nullify the oslo accords. what's your response? >> well, i wish that were true. in fact, for 19 years now, abbas promotes hatred and violence against jews, they promote that jews are an aids virus. they honor terrorists regularly when they die so we don't want another hamas state next to israel. we want a true civilized state, so we need to make it clear they have to show they're stopping promoting hatred and violence, they'll truly accept a jewish state. they don't have emblems like this. this is an emblem the fatah put together a year or two ago
showing israel where a picture of arafat and a -- rifle. this is not an emblem of peace, so the palestinian authority is not serious about peace. they say in speech after speech, if the arabs want war against israel, we will join them. israel has to wait until ta changes before state hood can be confirmed. >> when i was in israel just few months ago and went into the palestinian territories in the west bank and i was with a bunch of children, little boys, and i asked them what they wanted to be, they said i want to fight israel, then dentist, what else their dreams might have been. does morton have a point?
>> well, there's a conflict here. there are two peoples that have been at war for over 100 years and we're going to make peace with our enemies, not with our friends and the only splugs o this fight, a fight between two people over one piece of land is to figure out how to share the land or else we're going keep on killing each other. so the two-state solution is the only way for israel to have long-term and short-term security and also to preserve its jewish character. >> morton, don't you have to do a two-state solution and do it soon? the rights of these people who live in the palestinian territories. they just don't have them.
>> yes, but we don't want another hamas type entity in the west bank that can hit israel's main airport, main population centers very easily. and israel's looking at how the arabs have treated the gays and christians in their territories. bethlehem used to be 90% christian. it's now 10% christian because the christians have left because their lives have been made miserable. they see gays have been leaving the palestinian authority in droves because they're treated so horribly, so as bad as it is, it would be even worse with a hamas like entity and by the way, abbas in a new york times op-ed, one year ago wrote as soon as we get state hood, the first thing we do is go to the international criminal court and try to get jewish israeli leaders to be tried as war criminals. is that the words of a peaceful entity that wants to live in peace with a jewish state? hardly. it's a prescription for more war and if they do this, the united states may be forced to stop almost a billion dollars to give to the palestinian authority
because it would be violating the oslo agreements. >> do you think anyone in israel has created war crimes just to put this question on the table? >> well, i don't think that's the e question on the table. i think it's wther or not a two-state solution with the palestinian authority led by abbas is a formula for hamas as mort is saying and i think that the surest way to ensure that you will get more radical, more extreme, more violent people leading the palestinian movement is to oppose peaceful efforts to achieve a two-state solution. former prime minister, many other leaders of israel have been very clear. contrary to mort's remarks, the fatah party, are partners for israel for peace and they have spoken out long and often about the need for a two-state solution for the palestinian perspective and even recently on israeli tv went on to talk about ways of solving the most difficult issue, which is the right of return.
>> all right. thank you very much. we appreciate you taking the time. everyone, please e let us now online what you think about that, the two-state solution and the war crimes question. they sound like gadgets used by james bond. on the surface, looks like a pen and a flashlight. but the covert weapons allegedly belonged to a north korean spy who was planning to use them to kill a political activist from south korea. these are 007 type instruments and have never been seen by the you believe until now. our paula hancocks has this
exclusive report. >> an assassination attempt, foiled. a north korean spy arrested on the streets of seoul. this was a year ago and this is the first time south korean intelligence officials are showcasing the weapons. exclusively to cnn. so, how does this work? >> translator: this poison needle was made to look like a pack of ballpoint pen. there is a tube inside here. in order to activate it, we have to twist it towards the right three to four times and then press the top part like this. >> if you're shot by this pen, what happens to you? >> translator: it would cause muscle paralysis, chald lead to suffocation then death. >> the second pen shoots a
poison filled bullet. the powdered poison is then released. these pens look like they belong in a james bond movie. is it new technology? >> translator: these pen weapons are not new, but this flashlight is new. never seen this weapon before. if you look at the front, there are three holes. there was a bullet in each hole and here the trigger. >> forensics fired one bullet to test the gun. it was accurate and deadly. when police arrested the would be assassin, he was carrying all three weapons. none had been fired. this man was his target.
defector and anti pyongyang activist, renowned in south korea for sending anti regime propaganda leaflets across the border in balloons. he was due to meet the would be assassin who had claimed he wanted to fund his activism. south korean intelligence agents stopped him at the last minute. >> i didn't believe they would try and kill me on the crowded streets of seoul. i thought the national intelligence service was overreacting. >> we showed him the weapons intended to kill him. he seemed shocked. >> translator: you would not the gun, but these are so innocuous, you could have killed someone. i would have been killed instantly. >> he has round the clock police protection. having seen the weapons intended to kill him, he says he knows there will be more assassination attempts, but he will not stop his activism. >> "outfront" next, at least four top republicans say they're going to break their promise to never vote for higher taxes if it means avoiding the fiscal cliff. will they buck the pledge if it costs them their jobs? and a devastating fire at a garment factory highlights the need for unions. serious investors are choosing fidelity. what starts with adding a friend... ♪ ...could end with adding a close friend.
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the opposition believes the government used warplanes to carry out what is known as a cluster bomb attack. >> these disturbing images show what happened when -- who don't really have the option of good, solid buildings to shelter in. rebels often suggest when they score a major military success against the regime, this happened in a nearby air base to
where the bomb hit vis tor's anger among the local population. they have denied even possessing ammunitions, saying they wouldn't have used them in something like this, but many syrians will be asking themselves what else does the outside world have to see happening in syria to be spurred into action? >> thanks to nick and now, our fifth story. bucking the pledge.
at least four top republicans say they're willing to break their pledge to never vote for higher taxes, but could it cost them their jobs? lindsey graham, saxby chambliss, bob corker and peter king, they've said they're willing to compromise and consider revenue increases to avoid the fiscal clifft. their shift in position has grover norquist vowing to help unseat any republican who breaks his taxpayer protection pledge. the question tonight is whether this is a larger trend or whether republicans are just testing the waters and two men who know about testing the waters, politicking and actually meaning what you say join me now. david frum and james carville, you have been on every side of this. let me start with you though david. republicans talking about raising revenue by closing loopholes. you can get a heck of a lot of revenue that way. is this smart for them r or not? >> republicans are going to be yielding grown, but they have to avoid it under pressure. president has a strong hand. they have to keep their party together. frankly, i think loopholes are the -- so-called loopholes, deductions for home mortgage, at this point, the wrong place to look for new revenue. the place is look is with different kinds of tax s. is this a do or die line for democrats? >> it's 39.6 under clinton. as i recall, we did pretty well. i think that's a fine number, but at any rate there's going to be some kind of give wrg on revenue. that's obvious. i think the democrats have a stronger hand as a result of the election, and the fact that by the way during the election it wasn't about big issues. one issue was big and that was raising taxes on wealthy people, and people knew that's what president obama wanted to do. they new mitt romney didn't want to do it and voted for president
obama. he has the authority of the election behind him, and that gives him a good hand here. >> david let me ask you about grover norquist. the man who authored the pledge that so many reps signed and mike lee was the latest to say there's a lot of ways to skin a cat and back off the pledge. grover spoke to soledad on cnn. here was his comment. >> if you want to go to your voters and say, i promised you this, and i'm breaking my promise, you can have that conversation with them. you don't have an argument to
we. you made a commitment to voters. >> he says he will try to unseat people that go against the pledge? is this a real risk that people that are up for re-election could lose jobs over this it or no? >> it is a real risk. it's not just grover norquist, it's the club for growth and other entities that do that. understand what direction these people leading the party in. they concede the republican party is a fundamental congressional and oppositional force. the whole point of the pledge is to say someone else is acting, and you are laying down in advance how you react. there's no plan you're going to act or leading. if the republican party is a presidential party again and it's lost the majority of the vote in five of the six past presidential elections, it has to think in an entirely different way to make commitments to different groups of voters. >> what about on cuts, james is this this is an interesting comment. dick durbin has been on the show and he's so rational and open to compromise. he was open to closing loopholes and not raising rates. he's a rational man, and he said yesterday that democrats shouldn't be talking about cutting social security. here he is. >> social security does not add one penny to our debt. it's a separate funded operation.
medicare is another story. only 12 years of solvency lie ahead if we do nothing, so those who say don't touch it or change it are ignoring the obvious. >> will democrats have the courage to make serious cuts to medicare and not two years over ten years? >> first of all, i think there's a serious cut, and a lot of people that say that people would defer it. >> i'm not implying it's not a serious cut. i'm sorry. i meant you had to do it over a smaller period of time. >> right. i understand. but i want to go back to senator durbin's point. if you want to do something social security, do it. leave social security in the debt aside for the moment,
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from jumping. the factories makes product for ikea and walmart. bangladesh gets 80% of export revenue from textiles. this business is bangladesh, and it's home to about 4,000 garment factories and a lot of them are like this one. they lack proper safety measures. when i read this, it reminded me about another fire, the one in the triangle shirt ways factory in new york city in 1911. it was the deadliest industrial
accident in the history of new york city. 146 garment workers died in that fire, and most of them were women, just like in that fire in bangladesh. just like in bangladesh the death toll would have been much lower if there was appropriate emergency exits. in na case a lot of doors had been locked, and now there are reports that could have been the case with locked or stuck doors in bangladesh now in 2012. the new york city fire eventually helped to spur the growth of the international ladies garment workers union, which fought for better working conditions for sweat shop workers. we have every hope that the very sad events of this weekend will do the same for bangladesh, because whether it comes to sweatshops like the ones in bang ala desh, it's not as simple as saying don't buy foreign-made clothes. these women need the jobs and work. bangladesh is one of the poorest companies in the world. the garment industry is huge for the country. it's not as easy as saying pay a little more, because in the absence of international monitoring that is not easy. you can't do it. what do you do? unions. yes, unions. despite what you might think about them, they could make a big difference for these women and save lives. just something to think about. et of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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